Get a Glimpse into an Office Setup for a Blind Employee

Image shows a computer and cell phone – Photo by free-photos on Pixabay

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and it is also Blindness Awareness Month. I want to take this opportunity to share some information regarding employment and the blind and visually impaired community.

It is widely known that the unemployment rate for those in the blind and visually impaired community is very high at about 70 to 75 percent. I want to focus on sharing examples of blind and visually impaired people in the workplace. I want to bring attention to the fact that blindness is not an obstacle and the job may get done a little differently but it will get 100 percent done.

The video below shows the various assistive devices that are available and how a blind person gets their work done at the office. I hope that all employers will watch this and be open to hiring more people in the blind and visually impaired community.

People with Disabilities still Battle Discrimination when it Comes to Using Uber and Lyft

City street with cars in traffic – Photo by free-photos via Pixabay

The arrival of Uber and Lyft have helped to fill the gap when it comes to the lack of transportation but people with disabilities have been left to face discrimination when it comes to this form of transportation.

Wheelchair users and those that are blind or have low vision are most impacted due to a lack of accessibility and understanding. This article explains how challenging it can be at times for a wheelchair user to get an Uber or Lyft. It can take more than twice as long to get a ride for a wheelchair user.

Those that are blind or have low vision and use a guide dog also face discrimination. There have been many complaints of drivers canceling the ride when they realize the person has a guide dog. Here is one example.

People with disabilities must have equal access to these ride services. They are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I want to continue to bring awareness to this issue because drivers need to be educated on this topic. I think that a solution could be to have a category that riders could select that would identify them as wheelchair users or that they have a guide dog. Drivers could sign up to a category that accepts dogs and the same process for wheelchairs. There has been legal action taken regarding this issue and there have been some improvements but more can be done.

Let us all continue to battle discrimination against people with disabilities.

For Doctors: How to Interact with Blind or Visually Impaired Patients

Photo Source: Pixabay (Openclipartvectors) Description: a doctor and patient

    The healthcare system has come a long way in the united states but there is still a lack of education when it comes to interaction with people with disabilities. I would like to discuss the interaction between doctors and their staff and those that are blind or visually impaired because i can speak from personal experience. There must be an improvement in accessibility, in perceptions and attitudes and practical ways to be helpful.

Accessibility

One issue that I face when visiting a doctor’s office for the first time is the task of filling out all of the paperwork that is required. I am not able to read small print and therefore cannot independently fill out the forms. This can easily be made accessible to me by having the forms be available electronically. I would be able to use a screen reader on my computer to independently fill out the forms and it saves paper and time for everyone. Forms such as medicine instructions should also be made available in an electronic format.

Perceptions and Attitudes

    I found that i do not get taken as serious by doctors when I visit on my own. I get written off as being incapable when they see my white cane. i find i get taken more seriously when I have someone with me. I also find that they will address the person I am with instead of addressing me. I would like to be treated as an independent adult as I am able to handle my own healthcare. Many times I have only had someone with me to help me fill out those endless forms. I find that i must have someone with me just to be taken seriously. Please treat those that are blind or visually impaired like you would treat anyone else that visits your office.

Practical Ways to Help

    Now I would like to give some practical ways to improve the experience at a doctor’s office. First, offer sighted guide by letting the person hold your elbow. Second, describe the room and every procedure that you are going to perform from checking blood presure to drawing blood. Third, describe any medical instructions in great detail and fourth remember to address the patient no matter what disability they may have, they are a person just like you.

Manovue: A Smart Glove for Blind and Visually Impaired People

a screenshot of a YouTube video showing an image of the Manovue glove

According to an article from Cool Blind Tech the glove is able to read printed text under a person’s finger. I think this is a great tool because it is more discreet than other options such as CCTV’s or devices that are similar to glasses but are bulky and attract much attention.

I am not against using assistive devices but this cwould help students that are struggling to fit in in school or someone at a job site.

I hope this information is helpful.

Museums are Becoming more Accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired Community

The Guggenheim museum

Museums are very visual places and those in the blind and visually impaired community may feel left out. Assistive technology is now making it possible for this growing community to finally get the full experience. Check out this video to learn more.

Photo Credit

Photo is by KaiPilger via Pixabay.